No. 83.
Mr. Morton to Mr. Frelinghuysen .

No. 107.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy and translation of a bill, in relation to American salted meats, which was introduced in the Chamber on the 14th instant by Mr. Faure, deputy and under secretary of commerce.

This bill repeals the decree prohibiting the importation of American pork, and provides for its introduction into France upon certain restrictions, which will, I believe, practically result in its free admission.

The minister in presenting this bill explained the reasons which dictated its action.

At the time the decree was issued, anxiety and alarm existed; microscopic examination could not be resorted to, and prohibition under the circumstances was necessary. But since that time nearly all the chambers of commerce of France have protested against the measure, and the government has been led to question seriously the propriety of maintaining it.

A careful examination elicited the fact that from 1878 to 1880, 95,000,000 kilograms of American pork were consumed in France without danger, and that Belgium, where the consumption is about six times as large as in France, and England, where it is eight times as large, did not suffer at all from trichinosis.

It was found besides that the cooking of the meat afforded an additional protection against trichinosis to the one already secured by its process of curing.

Upon the evidence of these facts the committee of public hygiene rescinded its former advice, and declared that in its opinion prohibition was unnecessary, provided the meat introduced into France was well cured. The government therefore proposes the free admission of American pork upon the conditions stated in the bill.

It has taken nearly two years to establish the fact that the remonstrances [Page 149] which our government made from the beginning to this unjustifiable measure, and which have been constantly pressed upon the French authorities by my predecessor and myself, were just and well founded in every respect.

I regret that the bill proposed still maintains the prohibition of sausages and hashed meat, the reasons for which I do not understand.

But as the bill is, if its provisions are applied in a liberal spirit, as I believe they will be, our packers will have no reason to complain.

* * * * * * *

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 107.—Translation.]

Bill on importation of American pork.

The minister of commerce presented yesterday, in the name of the government, the hill relating to the withdrawal of the decree prohibiting the importation into France of American pork.

This is the text of the document:

  • Article 1. The decree of February 18, 1881, prohibiting the importation into France of salt meats of American production is annulled.
  • Art. 2. Salted pork of foreign production, accompanied by a certificate testifying that the meat has undergone a perfect preparation, and that it corresponds with the type known in commerce under the name of “fully cured,” can be imported into France.
  • These certificates will be made out in the places of their origin with promptitude, and at the cost of the parties interested, by local experts, whose qualifications will be attested, and the signature authenticated by the consular agents of the republic.
  • Art. 3. At the moment of the payment of custom-house dues in France, the importers must prove that the meats which they propose to hand over for consumption are healthy, that they are in a perfect state of preservation, and that the saiting is not defective.
  • This authentication will be made at the expense of the importers by inspectors appointed by the prefects of the frontier departments.
  • Art. 4. The present arrangements are not applicable to meats hashed and uncooked, such as different kinds of sausage (“saucisses, saucissons, cervelas,” &c.), nor to guts (“boyaux”) intended for culinary preparations, the importation of which into France is absolutely prohibited.
  • Art. 5. Will be punished by imprisonment of from two to six months, and by a fine of from 100 to 500 francs—
    Those who will have brought into France uncooked and hashed pork, such as the various kinds of sausage (“saucisses, saucissons, cervelas,” &c), or guts (“boyaux”) intended for culinary preparations.
    Those who have imported into France pork of foreign production which has not been subjected to the inspection imposed by the present law, or which would have been refused after examination.

In the two above-mentioned cases the imported meats will be in addition seized or destroyed.

The article 463 of the penal code is applicable in the cases provided for in the present article (5th).